al·​loy | \ ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) also ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \

Definition of alloy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals : fineness
2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components
3a : an admixture that lessens value
b : an impairing alien element
4 : a compound, mixture, or union of different things an ethnic alloy of many peoples
5 archaic : a metal mixed with a more valuable metal to give durability or some other desired quality


al·​loy | \ ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) also ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \
alloyed; alloying; alloys

Definition of alloy (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

b : to impair or debase by admixture
2 : to reduce the purity of by mixing with a less valuable metal
3 : to mix so as to form an alloy

intransitive verb

: to lend itself to being alloyed iron alloys well

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Examples of alloy in a Sentence

Noun testing the properties of various alloys a part made of aluminum alloy
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Musk also outlined a new engineering structure for future Tesla cars in which the front and rear framework of the car would each be made of a single cast piece of aluminum alloy. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Elon Musk promises $25,000 Tesla and says Model S 'Plaid' is coming soon," 22 Sep. 2020 Beyond these alloys, there are now ultra-lightweight carbon-fiber wheels, but those are still far more expensive than an alloy set. Mike Allen, Popular Mechanics, "Your Guide To Upgrading Wheels and Tires," 28 June 2020 The titanium alloy, called Ti-6-4, has been widely used to make aircraft equipment since the 1970s because of its strength and relative light weight. Tara Patel,, "French Probe Into A380 Engine Blowout Reveals Metal Safety Risks," 30 Sep. 2020 It’s made of Corten, or weathering steel, an alloy that eliminates the need for painting. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "New sculpture added to Vista’s Paseo Santa Fe roundabout," 29 Sep. 2020 Robust aluminum-alloy frame fitted with powerful 750-watt drive, plus wide tires for great traction in all conditions. Bob Beacham,, "The best electric mountain bike," 25 Sep. 2020 According to the Journal, objects found at the site included copper-alloy brooches, wrist clasps, amber and glass beads, small iron knives, and silver pennies. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "This Anglo-Saxon Cemetery Is Filled With Corpses’ Ghostly Silhouettes," 18 Sep. 2020 Brakes use four-pot calipers front and rear, and 18-inch forged alloy wheels are shod with Pirelli P Zero tires front and rear. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Volvo P1800 Lives Again in 413-HP Cyan Racing Continuation Model," 4 Sep. 2020 The aerospace aluminum alloy body has mil-spec anodizing and a comfortable feel. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "8 Survival Lights You Can Depend on in an Emergency," 2 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The N-Line also comes with N sport seats, alloy pedals, and other special touches. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "201-HP 2021 Hyundai Elantra N-Line Looks More Edgy, Has a Manual Transmission," 12 Aug. 2020 The only option package adds antilock brakes and alloy wheels for $1000 (our test car had that package). Steve Spence, Car and Driver, "Tested: 1997 Honda CR-V Launches Honda into the SUV Race," 9 June 2020 Tungsten is normally brittle, so procedures to mechanically process it to increase its strength and to alloy it with other materials to prevent its embrittlement from radiation damage are being studied. Giulia Pacchioni, Scientific American, "The Road to Fusion," 26 Aug. 2019 Automakers are making nearly continuous improvements to vehicle engines and structures by alloying their steels with an evolving list of special ingredients such as manganese, titanium, chromium, and nickel. Bengt Halvorson, Car and Driver, "Toyota’s New Electric Motor Cuts Need for Costly (and Overwhelmingly China-Sourced) Rare-Earth Metal," 27 Feb. 2018 The light gray or whitish metal can be alloyed with steel to form materials that are stable at high temperatures. Thomas Biesheuvel,, "China Sends One of the West’s Most Critical Materials Soaring," 11 Sep. 2017 Anger and anguish alloyed to reveal a deep, familiar frustration. Bill Oram, Orange County Register, "Clippers one game away from offseason after 96-92 Game 5 loss to Jazz," 25 Apr. 2017 Yttrium and neodymium are alloyed to make the magnets in turbines for windmills. Nelson Ching, National Geographic, "How Acid—and Bacteria—Could Make Recycling Your Phone Greener," 10 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alloy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of alloy


1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1625, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for alloy


French aloi, from Old French alei, from aleir to combine, from Latin alligare to bind — more at ally

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Time Traveler for alloy

Time Traveler

The first known use of alloy was in 1593

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Statistics for alloy

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alloy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for alloy


How to pronounce alloy (audio) How to pronounce alloy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of alloy

: a metal made by melting and mixing two or more metals or a metal and another material together


al·​loy | \ ˈa-ˌlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ə-ˈlȯi \

Kids Definition of alloy

: a substance made of two or more metals melted together Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc.


al·​loy | \ ˈal-ˌȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ə-ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \

Medical Definition of alloy

1 : the degree of mixture with base metals
2 : a substance composed of two or more metals or of a metal and a nonmetal intimately united usually by being fused together and dissolving in each other when molten also : the state of union of the components

Other Words from alloy

alloy \ ə-​ˈlȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) , ˈal-​ˌȯi How to pronounce alloy (audio) \ transitive verb

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